“More than half of the planet’s people now live in urban areas,” says David Suzuki and Faisal Moola in the Opinion section of the Toronto Star, May 22, “…[in some cities], growth in the city was confined to existing built-up areas, thereby preventing development from spilling out to farmer’s field.” This trend is very obvious in Toronto’s downtown core.
Condos in the core, is in fact, saving some of Ontario’s farmland and natural habitat. This concern of urban sprawl has been an on-going issue for decades (its term first used in the 1950s) and building up is the way to prevent it. Most importantly it prevents development in green spaces and to farmer’s fields (areas that feed cities).
What has made us more conscientious of the environment? Below are some factors:
PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION I:
In 2005, the Province of Ontario established the Places to Grow Act to decrease urban sprawl, utilizing existing infrastructure and preserving natural resources and agricultural resources.
PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION II:
In 2006, the province passed another law called the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe to encourage towns and cities to grow upwards rather than outwards. Ontario has 728,000 hectares of protected farmland and green space.
Rising gas prices have significantly affected consumer’s use of the automobile. Moving to Toronto’s downtown core make walking, transit, and bicycling more practical than suburban life which requires hundreds of dollars of car fuel.
Number of buyers now prefers to stay closer to their work in the urban core. This is a direct result of their experience with travel from the suburbs to downtown Toronto. Others don’t own a car simply because it harms the environment: diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles produced 1,511 million metric tons of CO2 in 2012.
As more buildings are becoming LEED certified, more stores carry organic food than those in the suburbs, farmers markets are popping up everywhere in the core, and green roofs are encouraged, there’s no better reason than to enjoy urban life and be green!
These contributing factors protect farmland, and give new life to southern Ontario’s agricultural industry. Protecting our agriculture and natural environment is just one way to make our society economically efficient and environmentally sustainable.